In my previous blog posts, discussions, comments, etc, I have been very careful to say that I have no answers to the problems I perceive. I am not an expert in politics or economics or diplomacy.
The truth is, of course, that that is a lie. I must have a suspicion of what my answer would be, even if I have not got to the stage of forming it into coherent thought, otherwise I would not feel so strongly about whatever issue it is. And if I have been moved to speak about something, I must feel strongly about it, that’s how I work. How I suspect most people work. By the way, this applies across the board. If there’s a social ill I talk about, a religious issue, or even that I seem to shout about a few particular authors I like or only give four or five star reviews, it’s because I don’t waste time talking about things that don’t matter to me. If I feel strongly about something I will shout about it. So simply in saying “I think this is wrong” I have implied that I think I could do better, and it’s time I faced up to that.
I have previously left my solutions unsaid for the reasons I gave above. I am not expert; I am also wary of confrontation and I prefer to avoid situations where I could offend people. But the biggest reason is that I am Just Me. Just a very ordinary person from a common background with fairly ordinary experiences and with a great deal of my life expectancy still to come.
But for these very reasons I should be coming up with answers.
I am a free and equal member of society. I have as great a stake in society as any other person in Britain; a great deal more than the current governing bodies who can buy their way out of society if it doesn’t suit them. Saying this aloud is wonderfully freeing.
I am a free and equal member of society. My opinion should be informed and it should be valued but it should also be formed in the first place. How can I possibly condemn any politician for their stance when I hold none of my own? When I am quick to judge but not to put my own views forward for judging? It’s time to take some responsibility for myself and my society.
This morning I have been doing some thinking of my own. I have started playing the game of “If I was in charge…” Not “How do I get to be in charge…” That leads to short-term consumer-based policies that change with the wind based on what people say they want from a government. Playing this game needs to start with every policy that I’d come up with being based on my principles. If nothing else then, at least I’d be acting with integrity.
If I was in charge I’d base everything on the idea of building. Building a country that we can be proud to pass on to our children, and the third and fourth generation. A country that takes care of people and whose people want to take care of it in a covenant. Maybe that’s not a bad place to start – look at marriage vows. A country that takes care of people for better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health. Building a true democracy in which people are valued not only as commodities but as people with individual contributions to make to a rich cultural heritage that can be enjoyed by everyone. Because everyone, to exploit an advertising slogan, is worth it.
That’s the what and the why. The how needs much, much more thought but I genuinely believe that if I know why I’m doing something, I’m on the right lines.
The other thing to remember is that when people were building Legoland, they had to start, at some stage, with a single lego brick. No lego brick was more valuable than the others or more important, or better at being a lego brick. They all had a stake in being part of Legoland.
I am a free and equal member of society and I have a role and responsibility in building that society.